When (and Why) to Consider Total Disc Replacement

May 01, 2023
When (and Why) to Consider Total Disc Replacement
Are you living with chronic back pain and considering your treatment options? Total disc replacement might be right for you. Take a moment to explore whether this treatment could be your key to lasting pain relief.

Chronic back pain can be a debilitating and frustrating issue that affects every aspect of your life. Sometimes, traditional treatment options like physical therapy or medications don’t provide the relief you need. In these situations, total disc replacement could be a viable solution. 

At HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics in Glendale, Santa Ana, and Upland, California, Dr. Stepan Kasimian, a well-versed orthopedic surgeon, can help you make the best decision for your health.

Here, he explains when and why to consider total disc replacement as a treatment option.

What is total disc replacement? 

Total disc replacement (TDR) is a surgical procedure to relieve chronic back pain caused by degenerative disc disease or other spinal conditions. 

During this surgery, Dr. Kasimian removes the damaged disc from the spine and replaces it with an artificial disc.

TDR aims to relieve your pain, restore spinal stability, and improve overall mobility.

When should you consider total disc replacement?

Total disc replacement may be an appropriate treatment option if you fit into the following categories.

Traditional treatments don't work for you 

If you’ve exhausted nonsurgical treatment options, such as medication, physical therapy, and injections, without any significant pain relief, TDR might be your next step.

You have a degenerative disc disease or other spinal conditions

TDR is primarily used to treat degenerative disc disease. If Dr. Kasimian believes it would benefit you, he may also consider it for treating other spinal conditions, such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

Your pain is localized

To benefit from TDR, your pain should be localized to one or two spinal levels, and imaging studies, such as MRI or CT scans, can reveal whether the pain is originating from the affected disc(s).

You have no significant spinal instability or deformity

We don't recommend TDR for people who have severe spinal instability or deformity, such as scoliosis or spondylolisthesis. 

It's also crucial that you’re in overall good health. TDR is a major surgery that requires general anesthesia and has inherent risks. You may not be a suitable candidate for this procedure if you have significant health issues.

Why should you consider total disc replacement?

The primary reason to consider this procedure is that it provides long-lasting pain relief. By replacing the damaged disc with an artificial one, TDR can help ease the pain caused by disc degeneration or other spinal issues.

TDR also aims to maintain the natural motion of your spine. This can result in better long-term mobility and a reduced risk of other discs degenerating. 

While the artificial disc will eventually wear out over time, many people who opt for TDR can expect to experience pain relief and improved mobility for decades.

Living with chronic back pain can be incredibly challenging, but total disc replacement may provide you with long-lasting relief if you’re a great fit for the procedure. 

If you're considering TDR as a treatment option, it's essential to consult with a skilled and experienced team like the one at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics, led by Dr. Kasimian. 

By working closely with our team, you can decide whether total disc replacement is suitable for you and take the first steps toward a life with less pain and improved mobility.

Don't let chronic back pain control your life any longer; request an appointment online or call us at 818-500-9286 and begin your journey toward recovery today.